For a better understanding of our science

A

Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI)

Commonly known as a heart attack, is the interruption of blood supply to part of the heart, causing some heart cells to die. This is most commonly due to occlusion (blockage) of a coronary artery following the rupture of a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque, which is an unstable collection of lipids (like cholesterol) and white blood cells (especially macrophages) in the wall of an artery. The resulting ischemia (restriction in blood supply) and oxygen shortage, if left untreated for a sufficient period of time, can cause damage or death (infarction) of heart muscle tissue (myocardium).

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

AML is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. It is characterized by an overproduction of certain immature white blood cells, called myeloblasts or leukaemic blasts.

Allogeneic

A situation in which the donor and the recipient are not the same person.

Antibody

also known as an immunoglobulin is a protein produced mainly by plasma cells that is used by the immune system to identify and neutralize pathogens such as bacteria and viruses

Antigen

any substance that causes an immune system to produce antibodies against it

Autologous

A situation in which the donor and the recipient are the same person.

C

CAR T-Cell

A CAR-T cell is a T lymphocyte (a type of white blood cells) in which a DNA construct, coding for a receptor, has been introduced artificially. The result of this engineered cell is that the T lymphocyte express the CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptor) on its surface and is able to recognize a specific target through new engrafted receptor.

Cardiac Progenitor Cells (CPCs)

A cardioprogenitor cell is a cellular phenotype with the capacity to yield myocardial tissue and blood vessels upon differentiation.

Cardiac Resynchronisation therapy (CRT)

A CRT is a type of pacemaker (is a medical device which uses electrical impulses, delivered by electrodes contacting the heart muscles, to regulate the beating of the heart) that can pace both the septal and lateral walls of the left ventricle.

Cardiac Stem Cells (CSCs)

Cells that can give rise to all of the major cell types in the human heart.

Cardiogenesis

Development of the heart in the embryo.

Cardiogenic factors

A mixture of growth factors, cytokines and small molecules that have the capacity to drive Cardiopoiesis.

Cardiopoiesis

Process to drive stem cells towards the cardiac lineage.

Cardiopoietic Cells (CPCs)

Cells that are precursors of fully differentiated cardiac muscle cells. In the lab, CPCs can be generated from stem cells by culture in the presence of a specific cocktail of cardiotrophic factors discovered at the Mayo Clinic.

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

A group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels which includes:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Rheumatic heart disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism

Consistency lots

Lots produced to documented evidence that the process, operated within established parameters, can perform effectively and reproducibly to manufacture a product meeting its predetermined specifications and quality attributes.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

A condition in which atherosclerotic plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances found in the blood. This can causes angina (chest pain or discomfort) or a heart attack (when the blood flow to an area of the heart muscle is completely blocked, preventing oxygen-rich blood from reaching that area and causing it to die).

Co-stimulatory molecules

During the activation of lymphocytes, co-stimulation is often crucial to the development of an effective immune response. Co-stimulation is required in addition to the antigen-specific signal from their antigen receptors

Cryopreservation

Cryopreservation is a process where cells or whole tissues are preserved by cooling to low sub-zero temperatures. At these low temperatures, any biological activity, including the biochemical reactions that would lead to cell death, is effectively stopped.

E

Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs)

Stem cells derived from the undifferentiated inner mass cells of a human embryo. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they are able to grow (i.e. differentiate) into all derivatives of the three primary germ layers: ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm.

F

Formulation

Formulation is the vehicle and the form in which an active compound is delivered in the body.Formulation is the vehicle and the form in which an active compound is delivered in the body.

Functional Assessment

The capacity of the patient to perform exercice.

G

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)

GMP is part of a quality system covering the manufacture and testing of active pharmaceutical products. GMPs are guidelines that outline the aspects of production and testing that can impact the quality of a product.

Graft versus Host disease GvHD

GvHD is a medical complication following the receipt of transplanted tissue from a genetically different person. GvHD is commonly associated with stem cell or bone marrow transplant but the term also applies to other forms of tissue graft. Immune cells (white blood cells) in the donated tissue (the graft) recognize the recipient (the host) as "foreign." The transplanted immune cells then attack the host's body cells.

H

Heart Failure (HF)

Heart Failure is a condition in which the heart has been damaged and cannot pump enough blood to meet the body's metabolic needs. HF can be of ischemic or non-ischemic origin:

  • Ischemic Origin (Coronary Artery Disease) 
  • Non-ischemic Origin 
  • Hypertension: high blood pressure; 
  • Other conditions such as heart valve disease, congenital heart defect, endocarditis (infection of the heart valves) and/or myocarditis (infection of the heart muscle). 

The failing heart keeps working but not as efficiently as it should. HF patients cannot exercise because they become short of breath and tired. In the most severe forms, even slight exercises like walking a short distance are impossible.

Human MSCs

MSCs (see definition below) of human origin.

I

Immunodeficient rodents

A lineage of rodents (like rats or mice) that are genetically lacking some components of the immune system (the system that protects against external aggressions like infections).

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)

Small battery-powered electrical impulse generator which is implanted in patients who are at risk of sudden cardiac death due to ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.

In vitro (experiment)

Experiments done outside animal living systems.

In vivo (experiments)

Experiments done in animal living systems.

Induced Pluripotent Stems Cells (IPS)

IPSs are pluripotent cells derived from differentiated cells by forcing the expression of key pluripotency genes.

L

Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)

A LVAD is a mechanical circulatory device that is used to partially or completely replace the function of a failing heart.

Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction (LVEF)

The fraction of blood pumped out of the left ventricle with each heart beat.

Ligand

A ligand is molecule, as an antibody, hormone, or drug, that binds to a receptor

M

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)

Cells located in many tissues serving to repair the organs and tissues. These cells are found in organs like bone marrow, adipose tissue, liver, and pancreas.

Multiple Myeloma (MM)

MM is a cancer of plasma cells. Plasma cells are mature B lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, that help to fight infection by producing special proteins called antibodies or immunoglobulins. In myeloma, large numbers of abnormal plasma cells called myeloma cells are made in the bone marrow.

Multipotent Stem Cells

Cells that have the potential to give rise to cells from multiple, but a limited number of lineages; i.e. multipotent stem cells can differentiate into a number of cells, but only those of a closely related family of cells.

N

NK cell or Natural Killer cell

NK cells are lymphocytes of the innate immune system, which can eliminate targets directly and destroy cells (e.g upon viral infection, or tumor cells)

Neovasculogenesis

Development of new blood vessels.

P

Paracrine

Paracrine signalling is a form of cell signalling in which the target cell is near ("para"= near) the signal-releasing cell.

Proteomics analysis

Proteomics is the large-scale study of proteins, particularly their structures and functions.

S

ScFv

ScFV stands for Single Chain variable fragment. It is not a fragment of an antibody, but instead a fusion protein of the variable regions of the heavy and light chains of antibodies.

Secretome

Term used to describe the set of proteins secreted by a cell, a tissue or an organism.

Sham

A "mock" treatment intended to ensure that patients do not know in which treatment arm of the clinical study they are. Intended to ensure that the study is unbiased by a potential placebo effect.

Stem cells

Stem cells are primal cells. They retain the ability to renew themselves through division and can differentiate into a diverse range of specialised cell types. Stem cells can be found in adult tissues (adult stem cells), embryos (embryonic stem cells or ESCs) or umbilical cord blood.

Systolic dysfunction

Impairment of the contractile function of the heart.

T

T Lymphocyte (also called T-cell)

type of lymphocyte (a subtype of white blood cell) that play a central role in cell-mediated immunity.

TCR

TCR is a molecule found on the surface of T lymphocytes (or T cells) that is responsible for recognizing antigens bound to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules.

V

Validated Test

A test that has been standardized and undergone rigorous evaluation and is now used as a standard by the industry and regulators.

Ventricular fibrillation (VF)

Ventricular fibrillation is a condition in which there is uncoordinated contraction of the cardiac muscle of the ventricles in the heart.

Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) – Sustained VT (SVT)

A ventricular tachycardia is a tachycardia, or fast heart rhythm, that originates in one of the ventricles of the heart.

  • If the fast rhythm self-terminates within 30 seconds, it is considered a non-sustained ventricular tachycardia;
  • If the rhythm lasts more than 30 seconds, it is known as a sustained ventricular tachycardia.